In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea .... Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.
Charles Krauthammer (columnist), Disarm the Citizenry. But Not Yet, Washington Post, Apr. 5, 1996 (boldface added).
We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily -- given the political realities -- going to be very modest....[W]e'll have to start working again to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal -- total control of handguns in the United States -- is going to take time.... The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition-except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors-totally illegal.
Richard Harris, A Reporter at Large: Handguns, New Yorker, July 26, 1976, at 53, 58 (quoting Pete Shields, founder of Handgun Control, Inc.)(boldface added, italics in original).
Rep. William L. Clay (D-St. Louis, Mo.), said the Brady Bill is "the minimum step" that Congress should take to control handguns. "We need much stricter gun control, and eventually we should bar the ownership of handguns except in a few cases," Clay said.
Robert L. Koenig, NRA-Backed Measure May Derail Brady Bill, St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 8, 1993, at 1A (boldface added).
[Peter] Jennings: And the effect of the assault rifle ban in Stockton? The price went up, gun stores sold out and police say that fewer than 20 were turned in. Still, some people in Stockton argue you cannot measure the effect that way. They believe there's value in making a statement that the implements of violence are unacceptable in our culture.
[Stockton, California] Mayor [Barbara] Fass: I think you have to do it a step at a time and I think that is what the NRA is most concerned about, is that it will happen one very small step at a time, so that by the time people have "woken up" -- quote -- to what's happened, it's gone farther than what they feel the consensus of American citizens would be. But it does have to go one step at a time and the beginning of the banning of semi-assault military weapons, that are military weapons, not "household" weapons, is the first step."
ABC News Special, Peter Jennings Reporting: Guns, April 11, 1991, available on LEXIS, NEWS database, SCRIPT file
"My staff and I right now are working on a comprehensive gun-control bill. We don't have all the details, but for instance, regulating the sale and purchase of bullets. Ultimately, I would like to see the manufacture and possession of handguns banned except for military and police use. But that's the endgame. And in the meantime, there are some specific things that we can do with legislation."
Evan Osnos, Bobby Rush; Democrat, U.S. House of Representatives, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 5, 1999, at C3 (quoting Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)).
Mr. Speaker, my bill prohibits the importation, exportation, manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, possession, or transportation of handguns and handgun ammunition. It establishes a 6-month grace period for the turning in of handguns. It provides many exceptions for gun clubs, hunting clubs, gun collectors, and other people of that kind.
Rep. Major Owens (D-Brooklyn, N.Y.), 139 Cong. Rec. H9088 at H9094, Nov. 10, 1993.